Hospital staff from the Uitenhage Provincial Hospital who have downed tools in a desperate plea for proper PPE in order to deal with Covid-19 patients demand for more staff to be employed and to be provided with the necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
Hospital workers say they do not feel safe as the bodies of those who had died from Covid-19 were not kept separate from other bodies.
Porter Lazola Nqakula said he was threatened when he refused to move a suspected Covid-19 body from the ward to the mortuary after being given only a plastic apron instead of the PPE required when moving a body.
Nqakule said management insisted on his participation and his response: “Before this, there was no coronavirus. The coronavirus that could potentially kill me and put my family in harm’s way, therefore I would like to exercise extra precaution and conduct that duty under safe circumstances.
“The ending of that argument wasn’t well… no proper PPE is in place for us to do such duties.”
Other issues from the staffers include their demand for the hospital’s CEO to be fired.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) regional secretary Sweetness Stokwe said urgent intervention was needed by the staffers who as a result opted to relieve the hospital’s CEO and senior nurse from their posts on Monday.
It is understood that the removal of the pair was as a result of staffers grievances not being taken seriously.
Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature spokesperson Helen Sauls-August confirmed a meeting with hospital management and unions was held and a report on the meeting was expected to be tabled on Wednesday in response to issues of PPE, soap, sanitiser as well as approved positions at the hospital.
“We believe if the province steps up, we would not be having issues.”
The expected report from provincial will highlight some of the interventions to be made in responding to the picket.